My Lemonade lemons are getting smaller, what can I do to make them bigger?

Q.

Hi Tui, my lemonade lemon fruit are getting smaller, what can I do to increase their size, it is an established tree. Thanks.

Grahame

A.

Hi Grahame, there are several reasons why your tree will be producing small fruit. Often after citrus have set fruit, it is normal for fruit to drop naturally, but if this doesn't happen, then you may need to help by thinning fruit. Remove fruit when it is pea-sized and leave approximately 3-4 fruit in the cluster, you will get bigger fruit by doing this. Watering can also be a factor, if the tree gets insufficient water throughout the drier months then the fruit will be small. In the growing season water once or twice a week, make sure the tree has organic mulch around it to protect the roots over the drier months and that grass and weeds are removed from around the base as the tree as they compete with the tree for moisture and nutrients. Feed the tree in spring and again in late summer, early autumn using a specially blended citrus fertiliser, such as Tui Citrus Food, or Tui Novatec Premium fertiliser. Citrus trees fruit on current seasons growth so a light trim after the risk of frost has passed will stimulate new growth, and so more flowering and fruiting, make sure your tree is getting plenty of sunshine, heat helps initiate flowering so changing seasons can affect fruiting. Lianne, Tui Team.

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